In an age where approximately 46m people in the UK have internet access, consumers are able to hit the high streets and shopping centres armed with all of the information they need about the product they want.
And car buyers are no different. Those in the market for a new or used car are increasingly initiating their research online, seeking out the best deals, model-specific information and formulating an idea of the vehicle they want prior to visiting a showroom. When they visit the dealership, many consumers wish to continue the search in their own way.
A recent study by Car Dealer Magazine suggests that many consumers distrust sales staff and do not like visiting dealerships.
Car dealers are under pressure to make their showrooms an attractive place for all customers, creating an environment where visitors do not feel pressurised into making rash decisions.
There are solutions out there which could help. An interactive touch-screen showroom display – primarily delivering new car configuration, brand offers dynamic used car search and media rich content – could be of great benefit. This kind of system enables customers to gather information for themselves.
The ability to browse options or stock without dealer staff intervening with a sales pitch is central to making dealerships more attractive.
Also, customers are far more likely to make a purchase if they can visualise what they are buying, but clearly it is impossible to stock every combination of model and trim available.
A touch-screen system allows showroom visitors to ‘browse’ – just as they would online. It creates the facility for customers to use for their own research within the showroom; they can spec a car and get an indicative price, research a dealer’s used stock, take a virtual tour or even alter the exterior appearance of their chosen model.
Enabling consumers to undertake their own research is an effective means of creating leads – and even completing sales.
A secondary benefit of a touch-screen interface is that it can also collect data on customers and their preferences. Touch-screen interfaces have been widely deployed in other sectors, such as healthcare, where patients use them for checking in and post-appointment check-outs.
In a similar vein, live reporting – built into the system – means that dealerships can integrate results into future marketing and advertising campaigns.
Targeted marketing strategies based upon the data collected from a touch-screen module mean that dealers can tailor showroom stock, gain an insight into popular used models and improve their sales rate in the long-term.
Ultimately, touch-screen interfaces hold significant benefits across a dealer’s operations, from lead creation through to end of sale. They enhance the showroom environment, encourage customers to take the lead in sales situations and allow dealers to collect data on customer preferences for future marketing.
The expertise of sales staff will always be the biggest asset to your dealership. However, giving your showroom visitors a choice of interaction is the best way to communicate the right message about your brand.
Who is Tim Smith?
He is commercial director for serial award winners GForces. Learn more about how he can help you at gforces.co.uk or call 0845 658 9290